Google Coverage Issues

Google Coverage Issues

by John Vincent

Posted on February 20, 2019

How to resolve Google Coverage Issues

Discussion about Google Coverage Issues and how to resolve them.

Google Coverage Issues

Received email from Google

Search Console has identified that your site is affected by 1 new issue of type Coverage.

Top Errors (5 maximum)

Errors can prevent your page or feature from appearing in Search results. The following errors were found on your site:

Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404

To view the problem, go to the Google Search Console, see Coverage (middle of left nav).


The search engine had quite rightly determined that /error is a soft 404 page.

This is intentional. Any invalid URL entered by the user I very much prefer to provide a user friendly error page with details as to how the user can correct his error.

This was implemented with the following from the Nginx server configuration code

error_page 404 /error;


I am not willing to remove the soft 404 page.

The solution is to ensure that /error is not in the sitemap.xml


Changed error.html yaml by adding

sitemap: false

Thus, when the sitemap is generated error.html will not be added to sitemap.xml.

Google Search Console

From the console

  • choose Sitemaps

  • provide the URL of the sitemap and submit

  • choose Coverage

  • request coverage be checked.

Received email from Google

We're validating your Coverage issue fixes for site

To owner of,

Google has started validating your fix of Coverage issues on your site. Specifically, we are checking for ‘Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404’, which currently affects 1 pages.

Validation can take a few days; we will send you a message when the process is complete. You can monitor the progress of the test by following the link below.

See validation flow progress

Took about 8 days but I got an email stating

Coverage issues successfully fixed for site

To owner of,

Google has validated your fix of Coverage issues on site The specific issue validated was 'Submitted URL seems to be a Soft 404'.

1 pages on your site were validated as fixed.

To examine full details on the validation progress and to learn if there are other Coverage related issues to fix, please follow this link.

The problem is resolved.